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Tuesday 21 November 2017

Rovers looking for lift in form

Shamrock R v Bray W Tallaght Stadium, (KO 8.0)

Shamrock Rovers manager Stephen Bradley. Pic: Sportsfile
Shamrock Rovers manager Stephen Bradley. Pic: Sportsfile

Stephen Bradley has told his Shamrock Rovers players to put last week's heavy loss to league leaders Cork City behind them and get back to the task of keeping pace with their fellow challengers for a European place.

Friday's 4-1 loss in Cork was the heaviest defeat of the season for Bradley's men, and the only consolation was that the other teams around them in the table, especially Bray Wanderers and Derry City, also dropped points last weekend.

Bray have already beaten Rovers this season, 4-2 last month, and Rovers can ill afford another setback as they host Bray tonight, a game brought forward to free up the fixture list for the Hoops' European campaign which starts at the end of June.

"We have to look at the teams in front of us which are Derry and Bray, to see can we catch them and tonight gives us a chance to close the gap on both," says Bradley.

"We're very disappointed in the scoreline and the result in Cork but when you sit back and look at it there's lots of positives as well to take from the game.

"We know conceding from three set plays is not acceptable, it's not good enough and we'll do everything to put that right."

Bray have actually been in decline since that 4-2 win over Rovers, just one win in six since then but Bradley is still wary.

"They're a good side, I've watched them a few times. They're a threat going forward, we know that. They're above us in the table so they're obviously doing well," he says.

Bray boss Harry Kenny says was boosted by the display in last week's 2-2 draw in Sligo. "Our performance improved on the previous two games and we need to carry this form into the Shamrock Rovers game. This will be our fourth game in eleven days so we had to taper the amount of training to keep the players fresh," Kenny said.

Rovers will make changes, as Darren Meenan and David McAllister are suspended, McAllister a loss as he's started the last six league games. Kevin Horgan started in goal away to Cork as No. 1 Tomer Chenchinski arrived late into the camp as his wife was giving birth but he's back in contention to start tonight.

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